Farah_786
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Women are their own worst enemies?
How far do you agree with this statement in reference to Rossetti’s poetry? (Jessie cameron) & Maude Clare)

In the poems ‘Maude Clare’ and ‘Jessie Cameron’ the women are portrayed as enemies as in both the poems the man has no voice which suggest the fact that he is not the cause of their arguments. Rossetti may have deliberately used this to shows that both women are enemies of each other. ‘Maude Clare’ is reconnoitring on the newlywed couple right from the opening of the poem. Rossetti states ‘Out of the church she followed them’. Maude Clare did not wait a single moment to interfere in the newlywed couple’s life. The word ‘follow’ suggest that she is lurking behind them without the couple knowing. She may be doing this because she desires to be with the man and she feels that the woman called Nell purposely took her lover from her. She didn’t even wait for them to get home as she started following them out of the church which indicates that she was there during the period of their wedding to see everything that goes on in the church.

Throughout the poem, Rossetti gives no voice to the man. The argument is between the women which suggest that there are enemies of each other because they are arguing over the man. Nell shows pride because she has the man to herself. She is dominant because she says ‘And what you leave said Nell, I’ll take’. This indicates that she has the superior hand over Maude Clare yet she is still quarrelling. Nell refers this to the man because Maude Clare left him so Nell says she will take him. She may be saying this to make Maude Clare jealous or making her aware she made a grave mistake in leaving the man. In this specific line the man is treated like an item has Nell says “what you leave”. An individual usually leaves an insignificant item which is not valuable.

In the poem ‘Jessie Cameron’ Jessie is also portrayed as an enemy by Rossetti. She is an obnoxious character as she constantly ignores her lover. In the full poem, the man’s name is not mentioned possibly due to the fact that he is an insignificant character and the woman is superior to him. This is rather strange as usually a man has superiority over a woman. Jessie just refers to him as “neighbour’s son”. This may be interpreted as the lover being insignificant and having no place in Jessie’s life.
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(Original post by TSR Learn Together)
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